When the news of Sushant Singh Rajput's tragic and sudden demise hit the newstands, the initial reaction of the public was an outpouring of grief and messages of support plastered across the spectrum of news and social media. As the days went on however, what should have been a peaceful and sombre time of mourning mutated into a shameful free-for-all where everyone tried to get the last word, in a quest for TRPs, fame, or just 15 minutes in the limelight.
Media coverage of the death has been highly unprincipled - back in June, just a few hours after the news of his death broke, channels reached his family home in Patna and started disturbing his father.
The family was understandably in a state of shock, but the news channels didn't seem to care - they just wanted the first byte.
Hi @aajtak— Kanupriya (@kanupriiya) June 14, 2020
Just saw your reporters in Sushant Singh Rajputs's home in Patna, questioning his father and uncle.
Kindly show some sensitivity and give them some time. Leave them alone.
Recently, CNN actually stooped to the level of titling one of their broadcasts 'Love, Sex, Dhoka', receiving their fair share of outrage in return for the crass reporting. These kinds of sensationalist headlines only make things worse.
Considering we're talking about the apparent suicide of a young individual, this kind of language is highly tasteless.
Then there's Arnab's Republic TV, that actually released his bank statements of the last few months, alleging foul play. This was yet another example highlighting the lack of empathy and understanding regarding how to cover a tragic death.
Apart from the fact that how a person spends his own money is his business, this report was also indicative of the ruthless quest for TRPs that news channels follow, in turn disregarding all forms of decency.
Instead of showing compassion and common sense, Aaj Tak actually aired a segment claiming Rhea Chakraborty performed Black Magic on Sushant. Yet again, the news just keeps on sensationalising his death.
Apart from being highly insensitive and downright bizarre, accusing someone of black magic also happens to be illegal.
how is this not going to affect that young girl who is probably 24-25 yr old n subjected to such mockery in guise of journalism? She deserves her time in court n so does Sushant's family. Taking rants of relatives n making them mainstream news screen grabs is sick. SAD! https://t.co/A3hnpfXXea— anjilee istwal (@anjileeistwal) July 30, 2020
Recently, video footage of Sushant's forensic test got leaked online, which showed an official talking about the investigation. This also led to a huge controversy.
It's unimaginable that someone would leak footage like this, but yet again, news channels had sunk their teeth into it within moments.
#Breaking on @thenewshour with Navika Kumar | TIMES NOW accesses a video from its sources which was filmed during Sushant Singh’s forensic tests.— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) July 28, 2020
More details by Siddhant. | #SushantRheaTwist pic.twitter.com/INCjUHrSAA
Since his demise, every angle has ended up being played - From nepotism to foulplay, we didn't give the family time to grieve.
Instead of privacy, the death has become subject to publicity stunts, TRPs and has been plastered in every way across every medium possible
So angry at news channels who have no shame, sense or even soul. Have you no humanity? What kind of bottom feeding parasites have you become?— Gaurav Kapur (@gauravkapur) June 14, 2020
What the hell.— Asmita Nandy (@NandyAsmita) July 30, 2020
What the actual hell. https://t.co/0DdOEC8KKN
Hurling mikes on Father and Uncle of #SushanthSinghRajput and asking them question??? SERIOUSLY?? @IndiaToday @aajtak Don't you fucking care about privacy and grief of a family who's son has just left the world?— Ã@|[email protected] (@Cric_Freaky) June 14, 2020
Media is a cancer and no less than vultures. Too insensitive pic.twitter.com/gtpYlyP16U
Wtf. For once I thought this country was taking mental health and depression seriously. Now kala jaadu? So fucking irresponsible. https://t.co/VRe2CWeeLK— 𝕲𝖗𝖊𝖒𝕲 (@catttobaby) July 31, 2020
Incidents like these truly take away from the dignity in death that one should be afforded. The case is still underway, and there are a multitude of factors to consider - but sullying the entire situation in this way is truly tragic and unncesessary.